Nevada's Greatest!

by The Qualia

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about

The debut album by The Qualia. Recorded in Chicago, Charlottesville, and Queens. Released by WTII Records in 2007.

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released March 17, 2007

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all rights reserved

about

The Qualia New York

The music of New York-based duo The Qualia speaks to the heart as much as to the head. Reflecting the passionate and analytical personalities of Lars Casteen and Rossen Nedelchev, the group’s music combines a wry humor and dancefloor sensibility with lyrical depth and jangle to create their own brand of modern new wave music. ... more

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Track Name: Nevada's Greatest Man
People say he’s ten feet tall,
but no one does who’s seen him.
Some folks say the words he spoke
revealed a mind like a museum.

Now, I’ve heard stories,
and I’ve read books
based on all of his endeavors.
They say his eyes outshone the sun
and he always dressed in leather.

His metal joints, they never rusted!
The words he spoke were always planned.
His sense of reason could be trusted,
for he was, in his day, Nevada’s greatest man.

When he sang the desert cried,
and when he stopped, it didn’t.
He transformed sand into mud,
but only sang a minute.

His aim was truer than a prayer.
He drew his arm as fast as light.
His arm went back in time to slaughter,
before there ever was a fight!

His metal joints, they never rusted!
The words he spoke were always planned.
His sense of reason could be trusted,
for he was, in his day, Nevada’s greatest man.

I caught him crying once.
He just broke down and said,
“sometimes you terrify,
and sometimes you’re terrified instead.”

His metal joints, they never rusted!
(I caught him crying once.)
The words he spoke were always planned.
(He just broke down and said,)
His sense of reason could be trusted,
(“sometimes you terrify,”)
yeah, he was, in his day, Nevada’s greatest man.
(“and sometimes you’re terrified instead.”)
Track Name: Two Complaints
You dress sharp in black and white,
wrapped in the finest thread,
but when they’re coming at you
their clothes all turn to red.
You ride the desert out,
come into town, and stop.
The only folks you ever see
are people being watched.

Some of the scariest things,
I think you’ll find,
are the moments you don’t feel life’s design.
But the worst times of all,
and I believe this is true,
are the moments when you do.

You race towards a preacher,
giving sermon from a fence,
but as you speed away
the words stop making sense.
And you feel moved by music –
the county summer fair –
but it’s not music moving,
it’s just the desert air.

Some of the scariest things,
I think you’ll find,
are the moments you don’t feel life’s design.
But the worst times of all,
and I believe this is true,
are the moments when you do.

At the fairground there’s a girl
whose skin feels awful smooth,
but it’s not skin you’re feeling,
just chemicals that soothe.
She pulls back from dancing,
turns, and runs away,
and you’re compelled to follow,
although you’d rather stay.

Some of the scariest things,
I think you’ll find,
are the moments you don’t feel life’s design.
But the worst times of all,
and I believe this is true,
are the moments when you do.
Track Name: Better
You greeted me with open arms,
my tired and disheveled wife!
I tied the horse up to the post
and packed away my knife.

As you led me to the house,
you said you had three gifts!
A crate of dirty sheets and quilts,
the first one on your list.

I don’t want more, I just want better,
and that’s been hard to see.
Seems like it’s taken me forever,
sorting through the things you gave to me.

The second present of the three
was something I had missed.
All those months away from home
had me thirsty for a kiss.

You pressed your dry lips to my cheek,
then broke off to glance
nervously towards the mirror –
you just failed to enchant.

I don’t want more, I just want better,
and that’s been hard to see.
Seems like it’s taken me forever,
sorting through the things you gave to me.

So, as you pulled your lips from mine,
you said “here comes the third.”
From the mirror stepped a man,
your lover, I inferred.

He shot me three times, in the chest,
and pulled you to his side!
You missed my heart by just an inch,
you know, I nearly died.

I don’t want more, I just want better,
and that’s been hard to see.
Seems like it’s taken me forever,
sorting through the things you gave to me.

I crawled out to the doctor’s house –
he scraped your bullets out.
I keep them chained around my neck
as I limp about.

I found your address with some work,
I write to tell you this:
“I’m coming to return the bullets,
and then take another kiss.”
Track Name: Just a Thimble More
Katie, I’m coming back in.
So much spinning with no traction.
It’s all just so embarrassing.
Just a thimble more.
Track Name: The Pioneers
Look at them out there,
living on the ash
that stretches forever
in this barren gash.
The Lord guides our wagons,
He won’t let us crash.
The Lord guides our wagons,
He won’t let us crash.

Can you see them circling,
the twister-blown trash,
Our Father will come down,
save us with a flash.
But if they come any closer,
I’ll do something rash.
…they come any closer,
I’ll do something.

They come any closer,
I might do something rash.
They come any closer,
I might do something rash.
Track Name: The Circle
(Oh-oh-oh!)
Everybody come around.
(Oh-oh-oh!)
Look out toward the blazing light.
(Oh-oh-oh!)
If the rats are claiming ground,
(Oh-oh-oh!)
keep your prey within your sights!

So come on, make a circle now.
Surround them hand-in-hand.
Jump a little closer now.
Turn these cowards to sand.

(Oh-oh-oh!)
The sun has got them in His teeth,
(Oh-oh-oh!)
and He will not be denied.
(Oh-oh-oh!)
Our lady sand grips from beneath,
(Oh-oh-oh!)
so hold them in at every side.

So come on, make a circle now.
Surround them hand-in-hand.
Jump a little closer now.
Turn these cowards to sand.
Track Name: Motorcar
I dragged my father through
the cemetery gates.
The hoof marks were wiped away
by the drunkard’s bloated weight.

His pockets held some dirt,
and paper black with plans.
His dead eyes hid their goal –
tires on tin cans.

I built the chassis up,
used Dad’s old whiskey bottles,
fueled it with desert sand –
a horse bone for the throttle.

So, come on!
Let’s kick the engine on!
The wagonmen and riders turn and stare.
Screaming through the empty roads,
burning the town gates, and I don’t care!

So, let’s go!
A herd of buffalo!
Sticky red explosions hurtle past,
the sand goes fluid under wheels,
the metal circles melt out strings of glass!

Well, good Lord!
What’s that I’m racing toward?
There’s no more shaking, and I can barely steer.
Roll the windows just in time,
I can’t see a thing,
and the whole of the sky just appears…

This close to the moon,
not sure which I’ll see:
tentacles or tumbleweeds
writhing around me?

On the windowpane
thumbs and hair collide.
It’s just the Earth and angels
lingering outside.

One hand on the doorknob,
I stop and choose the stay,
imagining lungs and frozen blood
drifting off away…

What would father think
down there in the grass,
of me, up here in his car,
stepping on the gas?

His folks years are over,
the desert will be paved!
An angel swings by in the mirror,
smiles at me, and waves:

“Turn around, turn now!
We can go back to the plow!
No one else can build these gears,
if you forget how.

“Come now, come back!
What if the windows start to crack?
Drive yourselves to bottled beers,
not out the black!”

How about if I leave?
Leave people as they are?
The world’s not long for fresh frontiers,
so say “farewell” to motorcar.

Come on, say “farewell” to motorcar,
say “farewell.”

Say “farewell.”
Say “farewell.”
Come on, “farewell” to motorcar.
Track Name: Center of the Solar System
Every morning when I wake
and pry open my eyes,
my bedroom floor is spotless clean
and outside the world dies.

The folks I like still walk the earth,
and though none have said it,
where survival is concerned,
I deserve most credit.

In my hands, my own world,
my own family preserved.
In my hands, all my friends,
everyone I know ‘til the end.

I haven’t seen much of the world
outside my home and haven,
but I can guess from what I’ve heard,
there isn’t much worth saving.

But, everyone I’ve ever known,
and people I admire
can rest assured I’ve got them all,
and my arms never tire.

In my hands, my own world,
my own family preserved.
In my hands, all my friends,
everyone I know ‘til the end.
Track Name: I Feel Sick
Woke up the other day,
gave up, and drove away.
Just had to get out of Summerlin.

But they made me wait,
at the subdivision gate
as the guard hit the buzzer in.

I don’t understand why this takes so long.
What do these people want
with palm trees and lawns?

This isn’t the right place.
I wasn’t made for this.
I should feel the twisting air, but right now…
I feel sick.

Gave up on the delay,
drove out the other way,
but got backed up at Westcliff Drive.

The radio choked,
then the transmission broke
merging on Rt. 95.

Getting trampled by businessmen driving home,
if I can’t gain an inch out here,
then where should I roam?!

This isn’t the right place.
I wasn’t made for this.
I should feel the stretching land, but right now…
I feel sick.

This isn’t the right place.
I wasn’t made for this.
I should feel the winding snakes, but right now…
I feel sick.

This isn’t the right place.
I wasn’t made for this.
I should feel the circling birds, but right now…
I feel sick.
Track Name: Stakes
I could live near Vegas,
forty minutes from the lights,
or move to Chicago,
work long days and sleep long nights,
stay outside the beltway
with the preening socialites,
or any other town on the list of potential sites.

Go professional,
and make my future more secure,
or find fulfillment
preaching debt relief for all the poor,
lock myself away
until my name becomes obscure,
but these are all distractions
from the only thing that’s sure.

People had it easy
in the days of wind and dust,
although there were some incidents
that some might call unjust
that left sweeping fields of bodies
rotting in the hush,
safe to say that back then
I might be inclined to rush.

(Just wait, just hold on.)

I can take time building something new,
but I can’t wait to get my stakes in you!

All I know is that I’ve dreamt
there used to be more space
for people to live powerfully
and still maintain good taste –
that folks could just keep moving,
and the world would keep their pace.
Maybe we can make
our sense of stasis be replaced.

I can take time building something new,
but I can’t wait to put my stakes in you!

I can take time building something new,
but I can’t wait to put my stakes in you!